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A Grieving Sister

FMSF News Alert - February 26, 2019

Dear Friends,

Below is another letter recently received by the FMS Foundation. We believe it needs to be seen by every mental health professional organization, licensing board and practitioner.

J. Bean and Pam

Dear FMSF,

Three of my seven siblings accused our father of sexual abuse based on recovered memories.

One of the three died from breast cancer seven years ago. She’d stopped taking the prescribed anti-cancer drug Tamoxifen, partly because she believed her cancer was caused by having repressed memories of abuse - and that since she’d "recovered memories", the cancer wouldn’t return. But it did. By the time she died she had come to realize her accusations were probably false. Weeks prior to her passing, she apologized. She said that voicing those accusations was the worst thing she had ever done.

Eighteen months later, another of the accusers took her own life after taking herself off her anti-psychotic medications. At various times she’d been unclear about the nature of her alleged abuse and on occasion even denied having made any accusations. In the end she said she didn’t know. Her psychiatrist didn’t believe she’d been abused but that she had either bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

The original accuser separated from the family in 1988. She’d undergone a ‘rebirthing’ at a New Age Festival, suffered a psychotic break, and was hospitalized. She had a vision of a shadowy figure coming down a hallway which a hospital therapist interpreted as a memory of sexual abuse. We didn’t see her again until 21 years later, in 2009. She apparently still believes she was abused - we don’t discuss it.

We now see her about once a year for family events. She has depression that doesn’t respond to medication and is on a disability allowance as she can no longer work. She lives alone and has few if any friends. Her life is a mess. I wonder if she ever questions her accusations and reflects upon the influence she had on her other two accusing sisters

Other siblings are conflicted over what to believe. I have never believed the accusations, but others waver. It has ruined our once tight knit group and caused incredible pain and stress.

What a wicked thing this scourge is.

A Grieving Sister